I would like to independently verify that Riff Raff is, indeed, real. His validity is derived, not from our desires for him to be genuine, but from the particular historiological role that he is taking to shape the perception of rap, rap music, and rap artists themselves. While Riff Raff's distinct social milieu may seem odd or fabulous to some, his style does very little to undermine the intense provocation of his lyrical emphasis. Riff Raff follows in traditions of symbolism that have always been a vibrant undercurrent of hip-hop, spoken-word music, and prose, dating back millennia. Far from being deceptive, Riff Raff's claims are modest exaggerations, figures of speech, or are largely hypothetical. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone in vehement disagreement with his statement that "...I could-a played for the Chargers..." or a single person that would form a reasoned argument as to why Riff Raff was not "...rap game Ferris Bueller...". These are not questions of authenticity as much as they are questions of aesthetics, which, by almost all accounts, Riff Raff answers distinctly apropros. While Riff Raff is overtly self-diminutive at times, he also uses artful exaggeration to his tremendous advantage, in homage to both the pathological and the narcissistic qualities that have come to dominate rap narratives, respectively. His phrases are filled with unique references that can be nearly indistinguishable from non sequitur, especially to a casual listener, but regardless provide a magical counterpoint to the incessant repetition of stayed, washed-out symbolic logic that current rap music has offered. More insidiously, perhaps, but definitely more telling of the diminishing returns of a career in pop music, opportunities for apparent non sequiturs in his narratives belie apt, practical, and ethically justifiable opportunities for product placement marketing. Marginal decreases in record sale income for artists has led to a broader acceptance of corporate branding, and Riff Raff not only seems a willing participant, but by flashing MTV and BET tattoos already symbolizes the ethics of using advertisement as a tool to promote ones own interests. His knowing acceptance of his function in this broader capacity has only served to augment his appeal among his followers and ferment additional controversy among his critics, both of which have given further rise to his popularity. Riff Raff has navigated the distinct dialectic in rap culture between style and substance with the wit of Colbert and the grace of Tupac, and achieved historical importance as a point of reference for the ethical self-interest always on the horizon of the hip-hop pathos.
@andi_b Now that's a Pazz & Jop comment!